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Choosing which gauge of metal to form with


#1

What is a good rule of thumb - if there is such a thing - of
deciding what metal gauge per goal of piece? I’m making a small doll
with found objects of doll arms and legs. The body will be flat
nickel that these limbs are somehow riveted to. The dress will be
formed copper. The legs and arms are heavy ceramic type of material.
Since copper is so maleable when annealed, yet the limbs are heavy,
should I choose a lighter, more moveable gauge to form? Or. a
heavier gauge to hold the weight of the limbs? The doll will able to
sit or hang on the wall and will be around 7 inches tall.

thanks brenda


#2

First thing that comes to mind is there is more than one way to skin
the proverbial cat. Or more than one variable to play with. You are
concerned about the ability of the metal to cope with the weight of
the doll’s arms and legs? If the metal is thicker it will be
stiffer. Also if the metal is work-hardened rather than annealed, it
will be stiffer. So there are two variables to play with. I guess it
depends on the sequence of operations you plan - will you end up
with work-hardened or annealed metal part(s)? I don’t know enough
about it. But you do.


#3

Brenda,

roofing copper is your best bet. It is about 23 to 24 gauge. I work
with it a lot. It will hold up just fine for what you are describing,
and it will be easy to work with at that thickness. In fact if you
send me your address, I have a lot of scrap depending on how big of a
piece you need. I bought a huge rolls of the stuff when it was dirt
cheap, decades ago. Just haven’t used it as fast as I thought I
would.

Aggie